Goodbye Baby, Hello Toddler
To be honest, these days, I’m not quite sure how to be Matthew’s momma. All the emotions, ideas and instincts that had come so unexpectedly naturally with Matthew’s entrance into my life seem to have become tangled into a great big mess of uncertainty, confusion and a little bit of depression too, now that he’s fully stepped into toddler-hood.
While I totally understand where he’s coming from, how frustrating it can be not to have things done the way he wants, and his need to assert himself in this world, I am really at a loss how to combat my own frustrations to be the firm yet gentle, mother he deserves.
A year ago, I was making myself say “no” to my most precious son, in a bid not to give in to everything he wants. These days, I wish not to have to say “no” all the time!
I am all too aware that my little boy has grown up. At just two years old now, they are already no longer the babies they used to be. Well, yes, Matthew still wants “Mummy, Mummy!” for many things, and he still likes to be cuddled and carried, and indulged with my full attention but he is his own little man who has his own ideas about the world and who is fiercely independent with certain things in his life, like, taking off his own shoes and socks, carrying his own bag, and sometimes, feeding himself.
I am most proud of him for this independence though inwardly, I catch myself wishing he still relies on me for just about… everything.
Just the other day, a friend texted a video she had found, of Matthew playing at her home. The video was of him being tickled… and he probably couldn’t even crawl away then to save himself.
That almost undid me. I miss my baby so, so much. There is one phrase I live by, and that is: “We shall never pass this way again.” It also echoes how I feel about that little boy in the video – I can never hold that baby again.
And then I read an article that a friend shared, on the evolution of adolescence and its accompanying problems [http://nymag.com/news/features/adolescence-2014-1/] that just totally left me feeling more depressed than ever. Who needs to wait for adolescence when toddlers at two years old are already all ready to take on the world without their mummies?
So I’m going to recommit myself to Matthew. While trying to figure out how to be a mum to a toddler, I’m also going to continue to baby him.
I shall carry him whenever he wants me to and when my arms are free from carrying Emma, because there will come a day soon when he will be too heavy for me to do so. When he cries, I will baby him a little bit more and not rush him into taking care of himself (as I have done and he is getting adept at). I will appreciate every cry for “Mummy! Mummy!”. I will continue to cuddle him as much as I can cos soon enough, he will not want me to do that anymore. And if he should act up every now and then, and throw tantrums and be unreasonable in his demands of me, I will try to tolerate them as trying as some days can be, because this too, shall pass, and a day will come when I might miss such demands.
So yes. I think I had been feeling somewhat depressed last week (this entry was begun last week and as usual, it takes me a few days to complete one post these days). It is all good watching Matthew grow but for a mother who enjoys her baby so thoroughly, it is also definitely a bittersweet experience, one that I still wouldn’t exchange for anything else.